A Sandwich a Day: Classico Panino at Basil Brick Oven Pizza in Astoria
In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
The "panini" at Basil Brick Oven Pizza lie somewhere between sandwich and engorged calzone, heftier even than the foot-long Italian heroes you'll find elsewhere in the neighborhood. But the pizza dough, rolled unevenly to achieve crisp charred edges and a softer cente, for the most part holds some pretty smart fillings; the sandwiches are at least as good as the pizza itself.
In fact, my new standard order no-pizza-required may be the Classico ($9.25), filled with prosciutto, their creamy, tangy house-made mozz, a sharp jolt of Parmesan, and a scattering of arugula, still alive and bright despite the punch of warm cheese. Everything's there in balance: enough pork that you taste it and get some chew, plenty of mozzarella for the gooeyness (kept in check by the parm), and a decent amount of of arugula, so much so that this sandwich doesn't even feel like the salt and fat bomb that, nutritionally, it is.
If it's your first time to Basil, do get the pizza of course. But also consider splitting a sandwich among four—or six—or eight people. You won't need more than one.